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Warriors and Nuggets invade Wells


Photo courtesy of Rocky Widner, NBA Photos/Getty Images. Harrison Barnes returns to Wells Fargo Arena when the Golden State Warriors take on the Denver Nuggets on Oct. 16.

Photo courtesy of Rocky Widner, NBA Photos/Getty Images.
Harrison Barnes returns to Wells Fargo Arena when the Golden State Warriors take on the Denver Nuggets on Oct. 16.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) season is nearly here, and that means only one thing: traveling exhibition games. And while it’s been nearly 17 years since the last NBA matchup in Des Moines, fans are eager to see what the stars have in store for them.

Or more appropriately, one star in particular: Harrison Barnes.

Now in his third year with the Golden State Warriors, the former Ames High School and University of North Carolina standout is equally excited to be back and playing in his home state, this time in an exhibition game against the Denver Nuggets at 7 p.m. on Oct 16.

“Honestly it means a lot,” Barnes said. “To actually be able to come back to Iowa is huge. I have a lot of great memories (at Wells Fargo) with my Ames team.”

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Barnes led Ames High School to back-to-back state championships in 2009 and 2010, later hitting the big time when the Warriors selected him in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft (seventh overall).

“He’s a great young talent with great work ethic,” said Bob Myers, Golden State general manager. “He is highly competitive by nature; we’re lucky to have him. He gives us the option to have a lot of size. We’re looking for big things coming from him now in this third year.”

The Warriors finished the 2013-14 season in second place in the Pacific Division with a record of 51-31 and received the sixth seed in the Western Conference Playoffs, though they were defeated in seven games against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Iowa Events Center General Manager Chris Connolly said the game will be a showcase for the venue and community as well.

“This game is extremely important to us because it will be the first NBA game to take place in Wells Fargo Arena history and will also showcase some of the best basketball players in the world,” he said. “In addition, we feel strongly that this is a great event for the community and it gives us a great opportunity to showcase Wells Fargo Arena on an elevated level.”

In addition to the NBA game, there will also be a halftime show featuring the talents of the Chicago Boys Acrobatic Team, a professional gymnastics troupe consisting of young men and boys from the Chicagoland area. Their performance includes acrobatic stunts and tricks inside twirling jump ropes, catapulting off mini-trampolines and thundering tumbling routines with impeccable timing.

“We’ve been to Des Moines several times for halftime shows and circuses,” said Tim Shaw, founder and head coach. “We hope the audience is inspired by how hard we work to put on a great show. It takes a long time to get this level, but overall, we just hope they enjoy it.” CV

David Rowley is an Iowa native with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Iowa and a master’s in film journalism from the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

Think you have what it takes to play with the professionals? The Iowa Energy will hold its annual open player tryouts for the upcoming 2014–15 season. The Des Moines tryout will take place on Saturday, Oct. 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Johnson Wellness Center/Sisam Arena at Grand View University, 1500 Morton Ave. Doors open for registration at 9 a.m. Cost is $200 the day of registration.

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